Laken & Chad Adair
Planning, prayer and a stroke of luck all helped Laken Littlefield and Chad Adair to enjoy the wedding of their dreams May 25.
There was little suspense that the young Booneville couple would be married – they've known each other almost all their lives and became a steady pair by junior high.
“We started dating in eighth grade,” Laken said. “Well, we went places together with our parents because we couldn't drive!”
While they dreamed of marrying, both were working toward degrees. Laken graduated with a B.S. in chemistry, math and biology in May and Chad is becoming a physical therapy assistant. Making a formal proposal and setting a wedding date were on their minds but Chad wanted to be able to give Laken an engagement ring she loved and even tried on at Newton's Jewelers in Fort Smith.
He took an extra job detailing her dad's boat, intending to save the pay in the ring fund. Coincidentally, Laken's dad attended a charity event in Fort Smith with a raffle for a substantial gift certificate from Newton's.
“He called and asked if I'd like to throw the money into the pot for the drawing,” Chad said. “And we won!”
Keeping it a secret, Chad proposed to Laken after they were both in a wedding where she was a bridesmaid and he was an usher. They caught the bouquet and the garter. “I had said how much I looked forward to our wedding,” Laken said. “‘And Chad said, 'We're about to be one step closer.’”
Laken, her mother and a team of dear friends and relatives went into planning mode and also engaged wedding consultant Mary Ann Sandifer. Thorough planning was the key to their wonderful church ceremony and reception with 450 guests, held at her parents' home.
Everything was so well-planned that on their wedding day, “I guess we worried that we weren't worried!” Laken said. But the day would provide a few jolts anyway. One they didn't know was that while they were at the church, lightning struck the ground near their reception tent and rain threatened, but didn't fall.
At the church, Laken and Chad were exchanging love letters just before the ceremony, as all the wedding party dressed.
The only other mishap, now something they're both laughing about, happened during the ceremony when the couple stepped down small steps at the altar to created a “unity” sand sculpture.
"I fell!" Laken explained. “My dress caught on something and I just sort of – sat down.”
As their wedding consultant described vividly, “I thought the walls of the church were going to suck in when everyone gasped at one time. I think we created a vacuum for a moment.”
Laken instantly stood up and went on as if nothing happened.
“And that's why I was supposed to be holding her hand,” Chad then said to the congregation.
“During the rehearsal I did hold her hand,” Chad explained. “But at the wedding, her train was so long that I couldn't get beside her!”
He was also watching his own feet to conceal one last surprise. Laken knew Chad and all the groomsmen were wearing superhero T-shirts under their tuxedo shirts and would take pictures revealing them later – but she didn't know Chad had also given them socks to match the shirts.
“I was trying to keep my Batman socks hidden,” Chad said. “I didn't want them to show in church!”
Vows were said and the couple was happily wed, despite the mishap. They both say they wouldn't have it any other way. “Now we have a memory forever,” Laken laughed.
The tented reception was fun for everyone, as the couple intended. “Everybody was dancing!” Laken said. “And there was no alcohol there!”
All photos by Kim Singer Photography